Alan Silva in Belgium, 1969
|Birth name||Alan Treadwell da Silva|
22 January 1939 |
Bermuda, British Empire
|Genres||Jazz, free jazz, avant-garde jazz|
|Occupation(s)||Double bassist, songwriter, bandleader, composer, keyboardist|
|Instruments||Upright bass, keyboards, electronic keyboard, trumpet, electric violin, sarangi|
|Labels||BYG Actuel, ESP Disk, Impulse!, Blue Note, (CBS, Sony, Columbia, Soul Note, Black Saint, JAPO, Hathut, MPS, ESP-Disk|
|Associated acts||Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, Frank Wright, Bobby Few, Bill Dixon, François Cotinaud, Sunny Murray, Globe Unity Orchestra, Andrew Hill, Dave Burrell|
|Website||Alan Silva discography from Center of the World site|
Silva was born a British subject to an Azorean/Portuguese mother, Irene da Silva, and a black Bermudian father known only as "Ruby". He emigrated to the United States at the age of five with his mother, eventually acquiring U.S. citizenship by the age of 18 or 19. He adopted the stage name of Alan Silva in his twenties.
Silva was quoted in a Bermudan newspaper in 1988 as saying that although he left the island at a young age, he always considered himself Bermudian. He was raised in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, where he first began studying the trumpet, and moved on to study the upright bass.
Silva is known as one of the most inventive bass players in jazz and has performed with many in the world of avant-garde jazz, including Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Sunny Murray, and Archie Shepp.
Silva performed in 1964's October Revolution as a pioneer in the free jazz movement, and for Ayler's Live in Greenwich Village album. He has lived mainly in Paris since the early 1970s, where he formed the Celestrial Communication Orchestra, a group dedicated to the performance of free jazz with various instrumental combinations. In the 1990s he picked up the electronic keyboard, declaring that his bass playing no longer surprised him. He has also used the electric violin and electric sarangi on his recordings.
In the 1980s Silva opened a music school in Central Paris, introducing the concept of a Jazz Conservatory patterned after France's traditional conservatories devoted to European classical music epochs.
- Luna Surface with Anthony Braxton, Dave Burrell, Leroy Jenkins, Archie Shepp, Grachan Moncur III, Malachi Favors, Claude Delcloo, Beb Guérin, Kenneth Terroade, Bernard Vitet (BYG Actuel, 1969)
- Seasons with Lester Bowie, Dave Burrell, Jerome Cooper, Joseph Jarman, Joachim Kühn, Steve Lacy, Roscoe Mitchell, Robin Kenyatta, Michel Portal, Malachi Favors, Irène Aebi, Ronnie Beer, Kent Carter, Dieter Gewissler, Bobby Few, Beb Guérin, Oliver Johnson, Famoudou Don Moye, Alan Shorter, Bernard Vitet, Jouk Minor, 1970
- My Country (Leo)
- Skillfulness (ESP Disk)
- Inner Song (Center of the World)
- In Situ (as "Take Some Risks", Adda)
- Alan Silva/Celestrial Communications Orchestra: The Shout - Portrait for a Small Woman (Sun Records, 1978, with Georges Menousek, Georges Gaumont, Jo Maka, François Cotinaud, Jouk Minor, Denis Colin, Robert Garrison, Pierre Sauvageot, Bernard Vitet, Itaru Oki, Adolf Winkler, Michael Zwerin, Pierre Faure, Jacques Dolias, Catherine Lienhardt, Bruno Girard, Helene Bass, Pierre Jacquet, Armand Assouline, Michel Coffi, Muhammad Ali)
- Alan Silva/Celestrial Communications Orchestra: Desert Mirage (Pierre Faure, Carl Schlosser, Aldridge Hansberry (fl), Catherine Carrot (acl) Jean Querlier (htb) Denis Colin (bcl) Pascal Morrow, Bruno Girard (vl) Didier Petit (vcl), Jeff Beer, Serge Adam, Bernard Vitet, Itaru Oki (tp, bugle) Michael Zwerin, Doménico Criseo (tb) Georges Gaumont, François Cotinaud, Arthur Doyle (st) Philippe Sellam, Sébastien Franck (as) Henri Grinberg (ss) Antoine Mizrahi, François Leymarie, Rosine Feferman (b) Francis Gorgé (g) Adrien Bitan, Jacques Marugg (vib) Bernard Drouillet, Ron Pittner, Gilles Premel (dm), François Cotinaud (arrangements) IACP, 1982
- Inner Song (Center of the World)
- Crimson Lip (Improvising Beings)
- Stinging Nettles (Improvising Beings)
- Take Some Risks with Bruno Girard, Misha Lobko, Didier Petit, Roger Turner, 1989
- In the Tradition with Johannes Bauer, Roger Turner, 1993
- A Hero’s Welcome: Pieces For Rare Occasions with William Parker, 1998
- Emancipation Suite with William Parker, Edward Jordan, 1999
- Alan Silva and the Sound Visions Orchestra with J. D. Parran, Art Baron, Edward Jordan, Bill Lowe, Raphe Malik, Steve Swell, Joe Daly, Andrew Lamb, Rob Brown, Mark Hennen, Jackson Krall, Sabir Mateen, Karen Borca, Taylor Ho Bynum, Ori Kaplan, Stephen Haynes, Elliott Levin, Wilber Morris, Mark Taylor, Joe Daley, 1999
- Transmissions with Oluyemi Thomas, 2000
- Skillfullness with Karl Berger, Dave Burrell, Becky Friend, Mike Ephron, Lawrence Cooke, 2001
- HR57 Treasure Box with Baikida Carroll, Wilber Morris, Marshall Allen, J. D. Parran, Roy Campbell, Oki Itaru, Joseph Bowie, Joseph Daley, Bobby Few, Bill Lowe, Warren Smith, Steve Swell, Francis Wong, Jackson Krall, Kidd Jordan, Oluyemi Thomas, Sabir Mateen, Karen Borca, Daniel Carter, Johannes Bauer, Ijeoma Thomas, 2003
with Albert Ayler
with Sun Ra
- Sun Ra-Featuring Pharoah Sanders and Black Harold (Saturn)
- Nuit de la Fondation Maeght Vol. 1 (Shandar)
- Nuit de la Fondation Maeght Vol. 2 (Shandar)
- It's After the End of the World (MPS)
- Out In Space (MPS)
with Cecil Taylor
- Unit Structures (Blue Note)
- Conquistador! (Blue Note)
- Soundtrack Ferrari (CBS/Sony)
- It is in the Brewing Luminous (hat Hut)
with Sunny Murray
- Sunny Murray (ESP Disk)
- Big Chief (Pathe)
- Hommage to Africa (BYG Actuel)
- Sunshine (BYG Actuel)
- Aigu-Grave (Marge)
- Firmanence w/ Burton Greene (Fore)
with Shipen Lebzelter
- Rock and Other Four Letter Words (Columbia)
with Archie Shepp
with Grachan Moncur III
- New Africa (BYG Actuel)
with William Parker
with Dave Burrell
with Jimmy Lyons
- Other Afternoons (BYG Actuel)
with Francois Tusques
- Intercommunal Music (Shandar)
with Frank Wright
- Center of the World (Center of the World)
- Last Polka in Nancy? (Center of the World)
- Solos & Duets w/ Bobby Few (Sun Records)
with Bobby Few
- More Or Less Few (Center of the World)
- Rhapsody in Few (Black Saint)
- Solos & Duets w/ Frank Wright (Sun Records)
with Bill Dixon
- Considerations 1 (Fore)
- Bill Dixon in Italy Volume One (Soul Note)
- Bill Dixon in Italy Volume Two (Soul Note)
- November 1981 (Soul Note)
with Franz Koglmann
- Opium For Franz (Pipe)
with Andrew Hill
with the Globe Unity Orchestra
- Intergalactic Blow (JAPO)
with Abdelhai Bennani
- Enfance (Marge)
- Entrelacs (Tampon Ramier)
- New Today, New Everyday (Improvising Beings)
- Free Form Improvisation Ensemble 2013 (Improvising Beings)
with Itaru Oki
- Paris-Ohraï (Ohraï)
- 2001 - Inside Out in the Open (2001). Directed by Alan Roth.
- "Silva Interview". www.paristransatlantic.com. Retrieved 2015-10-29.
- Wynn, Ron. "Biography: Alan Silva". Allmusic. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
- "Alan Silva". Discogs. Retrieved 2015-10-29.
- "Music | Free man". www.bostonphoenix.com. Archived from the original on 2015-10-09. Retrieved 2015-10-29.
- Weiss, Jason (2012-05-01). Always in Trouble: An Oral History of ESP-Disk’, the Most Outrageous Record Label in America. Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 9780819571601.
- "Alan Silva @ All About Jazz". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2015-10-29.